Language is arbitrary. Language is domain specific. Language is over-valued. Basically, those three things sum up my entire stance towards language usage, both written and spoken.
Furthermore, there is too little discussion about language as a code. What is taken for granted is that all forms of language require both a deliverer and a receiver. The deliverer of any message is the message’s encoder and the receiver of the any message is the message’s decoder. Without an accurate process of message encryption and decryption, no communication can take place.
The message communicated is the entire purpose of any language. For me, a better word than communicated is mediated. Human communication requires a fundamental agreement of terms and the relationships of terms to the concepts they symbolize. Regardless of any domain, this statement is true.
Language, in any form, is a contract and it is not universal. For example, in a classroom loaded with graduate students, there is an unstated understanding that everyone is somewhat educated. To that end, most people within the domain, the classroom, speak with “language” befitting a group of educated people.
It’s more than just a little entertaining.
See, the thing of it all is that the words and mannerism employed don’t really amount to much more than a demonstration and reflection of the speakers’ attitudes and beliefs of what the domain requires. That is, in a classroom of grad students, there could be an expectation to “sound smart.”
At the end of the day, it’s crap. I prefer to teach and to advocate communication through any means necessary. That is, if a person communicates through dance, visual art, music, carpentry or through his or her work, then we should learn to listen through those means. Writing without fear of language is another way to eliminate the eiliticism that comes with linguistic chauvinism. Therefore, communication can and should occur through whatever channels are available.